AGENDA ITEM NO. 5b HCAOG TAC meeting of May 8, 2014

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1 Humboldt County Association of Governments Eureka, CA, AGENDA ITEM NO. 5b HCAOG TAC meeting of May 8, 2014 DATE: May 1, 2014 TO: HCAOG Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) FROM:, SUBJECT: Letters of Support for the Active Transportation Program Contents: Staff s recommended TAC action Staff Summary Draft Letters of Support Motion to be approved by consent: STAFF REPORT Staff s Recommended Action: The Technical Advisory Committee recommends that the HCAOG Board direct staff to submit letters of support for the following projects: Lafayette Elementary School, the Waterfront Trail, the Van Wycke Trail, Toddy Thomas Middle School/Ambrosini Elementary School, the Redwood Mobility Education Program, Red Cap Bikeway, Eagle Prairie Elementary/Monument Middle School, and the Bay Trail North Active Transportation Program applications. Staff Summary: On September 26, 2013, Governor Brown signed legislation creating the Active Transportation Program (ATP) in the Department of Transportation (Senate Bill 99, Chapter 359 and Assembly Bill 101, Chapter 354). The ATP consolidates existing federal and State transportation programs, including the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA), and State Safe Routes to School (SR2S), into a single program with a focus to make California a national leader in active transportation. The ATP is administered by the Caltrans Division of Local Assistance,. The purpose of ATP is to encourage increased use of active modes of transportation by achieving the following goals: Increase the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking, Increase safety and mobility for nonmotorized users, Advance the active transportation efforts of regional agencies to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals, Enhance public health, Ensure that disadvantaged communities fully share in the benefits of the program, and Provide a broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of active transportation users. 1

2 The County of Humboldt has requested letters of support for: the Lafayette Elementary Safe Routes to School application the Waterfront Trail application the Van Wycke Trail application the Toddy Thomas Middle School/Ambrosini Elementary Safe Routes to School application the Redwood Mobility Education Program application the Red Cap Bikeway application the Eagle Prairie Elementary/Monument Middle School Safe Routes to School application the Bay Trail North application Draft letters are provided for review and consideration. HCAOG 2 TAC Item No. 5b 5/8/2014

3 Dear Caltrans Rrepresentative, On behalf of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), I am writing in support of the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program application for Lafayette Elementary School. The application submitted by the Humboldt County Department of Public Works is the result of a coordinated effort involving community partners and agencies including the California Highway Patrol, Humboldt County Public Health Department, the Lafayette Site Council, Eureka City Schools, Redwood Community Action Agency, and the Lafayette Elementary School Parent Teacher Association. The goal of the project is to provide a safe environment and increase participation of children in walking and bicycling to school by installing infrastructure and providing education and activities to promote a healthy transportation choice. In 2012, HCAOG approved the Regional Safe Routes to School Prioritization Tool to help streamline decision making around SR2S projects and increase the capacity for effective SR2S programs and grant applications. HCAOG continues to participate in and support the development of this tool which ranked Lafayette at #7 out of 89 schools. This grant is a great opportunity for Lafayette Elementary School to continue the effort of the community, region and local agencies to work together to promote safe, healthy lifestyles and reduce traffic in school zones. HCAOG fully supports this application for funding through the Active Transportation Program and encourages you to support this worthwhile project.

4 On behalf of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), we appreciate this opportunity to extend our support for the City of Trinidad s Van Wycke Trail Project. HCAOG represents a rural county with seven incorporated cities and eight federally recognized tribes. As the regional transportation planning agency for Humboldt County, HCAOG works closely with multiple public and private partners to coordinate transportation projects in the region. The City of Trinidad s Van Wycke Trail Project is included in the HCAOG s Regional Transportation Plan, is considered the top priority project for the City, and appears to be a perfect fit for an ATP grant. The Van Wycke trail historically connected much of Trinidad, including the downtown area, to the Trinidad State Beach, Trinidad Head (designated as California Historic Landmark), and the Trinidad Pier and Harbor. As a result of bluff instability, the trail was closed several years ago out of concern for public safety. Without the trail, non-motorized users are forced to use the adjacent surface streets (classified as major collectors) that lack bike and pedestrian facilities. The improvement of the trail reestablishes a vital non-motorized link in Trinidad and will encourage/increase the use of active modes of transportation, including biking and walking and enhancement of public health. HCAOG funded the Project Study Report for this project in The City has been actively working to improve this important non-motorized route for years, and already completed initial geotechnical investigations, alternatives analysis, and preliminary designs. The ATP offers a great opportunity to complete the project and reestablish this vital nonmotorized facility. Please do not hesitate to contact me for more information on this project.

5 On behalf of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), I am writing in support of the Active Transportation Program (ATP) application for the City of Eureka s Waterfront Trail. HCAOG has been an advocate and collaborative partner of the City of Eureka, and the Waterfront Trail Project as it has continued to develop over the years. The initial project components have been funded by the former Transportation Enhancement program. I am aware of and fully support the goals of the ATP, to increase the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking; to Increase safety and mobility for nonmotorized users; to advance the active transportation efforts of HCAOG and member agencies in achieving greenhouse gas reduction goals; to enhance public health; to ensure that disadvantaged communities fully share in the benefits of the program, and; add to the broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of active transportation users. The Eureka Waterfront Trail is a prime a candidate for meeting all of the aforementioned goals associated with the ATP, as well as serving to advance HCAOG s primary goals as a multimodal transportation agency. In addition to meeting the program s requirements as a disadvantaged community, the City of Eureka has a high percentage of residents below the poverty level (22.1%). The construction of the Waterfront Trail will most importantly provide safe access under State Highway 101. Its development will connect Eureka s residential neighborhoods with the business center of the city where vehicle transport is currently the safest and most convenient choice. It is the quintessential project supporting the message of our Regional Transportation Plan update to provide a Variety in Rural Options of Mobility (VROOM). This alternative non-motorized route will increase safety and mobility for non-motorized users, as it will encourage residents who may have felt unsafe traveling by foot or bike due to the high number of frequent accidents that occur along the US 101, to take advantage of the trail, which will increase the use of non-motorized travel within the city. Having an alternative route that features adequate parking areas at each of the access areas will encourage motorist to take advantage of this non-motorized alternative route, reducing the volume of motor vehicles on the road, which serves to achieve greenhouse reduction goals.

6 I am pleased to support and participate in the Active Transportation Program and encourage your support of this worthwhile project, one that is sure to not only achieve the many goals of ATP, but will ensure a stronger, safer and more connective community. Please do not hesitate to contact me at or with any questions or need of additional information.

7 On behalf of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), I am writing in support of the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program application for Toddy Thomas Middle School and Ambrosini Elementary School. This purpose of this project is to ensure safe passage for students currently walking and bicycling to school and encourage those that currently arrive by a vehicle. While a high percentage of students walk or bike to school, the do so without sidewalks, raised crosswalks, pavement markings or bike lanes. This project will provide needed connectivity to all parts of town. In 2012, HCAOG approved the Regional Safe Routes to School Prioritization Tool to help streamline decision making around SR2S projects and increase the capacity for effective SR2S programs and grant applications. HCAOG continues to participate in and support the development of this tool which ranked Toddy Thomas Middle School at #6 and Ambrosini Elementary School #8 out of 89 schools. Providing the infrastructure for children to walk or bike to school is an excellent way to ensure daily physical activity. The request for funds to implement the Fortuna Walk and Roll Program (FWRP) will provide education and encouragement activities in order to reduce injuries, change behaviors and increase the number of students walking and rolling to school. These projects were identified through a collaborative effort of the Safe Routes to School Task Force, School staff and the City of Fortuna utilizing Walkability studies and the Safe Routes to School Prioritization Tool. These were identified as areas with the greatest need and would thus meet the goals of the ATP. Please do not hesitate to call with any additional questions.

8 On behalf of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), we appreciate this opportunity to extend our support for the County of Humboldt s Redwood Mobility Education Program application. HCAOG is a rural county with seven incorporated cities and eight federally recognized tribes. As the regional transportation planning agency for Humboldt County, HCAOG works closely with multiple public and private partners to coordinate transportation projects in the region. Funding for the Redwood Mobility Education Program is in excellent hands with the Humboldt County Public Health Department. Engagement of middle school students in this education program has both short term and long term benefits. Safety is of the highest importance but the secondary effects of this program should not be overlooked. The more our kids are comfortable riding bicycles, by learning the rules of the road and having a variety of mobility options available to them, the more they will continue to use their bicycles for transportation through adulthood. The County of Humboldt s dedication to health and quality of life should elevate this application to the top. We appreciate this opportunity to support this worthwhile and important project. Please do not hesitate to contact me at or with any questions.

9 On behalf of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), we appreciate this opportunity to extend our support for the County of Humboldt s Red Cap Bikeway Project. As the regional transportation planning agency for Humboldt County, HCAOG works closely with multiple public and private partners to coordinate transportation projects in the region. The County is partnering with the Karuk Tribe on this project. The Karuk Tribe is a long time transportation partner in the region. A representative has been on HCAOG s Technical Advisory Committee for nearly a decade. The Karuk Tribe, Humboldt County and HCAOG have and will, continue to work cooperatively to improve the transportation system in the region. The Red Cap Bikeway Project is located in Orleans California and is designed to provide safe access for all modes of transportation. The bikeway is a part of a critical roadway connecting a residential community to the commercial core of Orleans. The project includes shoulder widening, minor roadway realignment, and striping/signage. A separate project within this project area is a bridge replacement over Big Rock Gulch, funded through the federal Highway Bridge Program, which will be constructed on the same schedule as the bikeway project. The project is utilizing a variety of funding resources including STIP, Highway Bridge Program funds, and Tribal Transportation Program funds. The collaborative project will provide a safe connection that will increase bicycle and pedestrian trips between residential, commercial and schools in the Orleans community and link to public transit. This project will improve a vital connection to employment, health care, and every other essential service. Please do not hesitate to contact me at or for more information on this project.

10 On behalf of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), we appreciate this opportunity to extend our support for the City of Rio Dell s Active Transportation Improvement Project. HCAOG represents a rural county with seven incorporated cities and eight federally recognized tribes. As the regional transportation planning agency for Humboldt County, HCAOG works closely with multiple public and private partners to coordinate transportation projects in the region. The City of Rio Dell s Active Transportation Improvement Project is a combination of improvement projects that are included in the HCAOG s Regional Transportation Plan, and are considered high priority projects for the City, and appears to be a perfect fit for an ATP grant. The Active Transportation Improvement application is a Safe Routes to School Project and takes the systemic approach by focusing on improving bicycle and pedestrian access and safety in the area around Eagle Prairie Elementary and Monument Middle School. Bike Improvements to Belleview Avenue and Wildwood Avenue will create a continuous bicycle route from the Belleview & Ogle neighborhood to the schools. Improvements to Davis Street will close gaps in pedestrian and bicycle transportation routes from the schools to neighborhoods on the east side of Highway 101. The Scenic Way and Eeloa intersection currently does not have pedestrian or bicycle facilities and is the only intersection that ties the north side of Rio Dell to the south where the schools are located. Non-motorized improvements to this intersection will include new curb ramps with detectable warning, cross walks, signage and bike lanes. These bike lanes will tie into the proposed bike lanes on Wildwood to create uninterrupted bike route from the north end of the City to the schools and the downtown core. These improvements will compliment previous Safe Routes to Schools Projects that were completed in the area immediate to the schools, creating vital non-motorized links to residential neighborhoods and increase the use of active modes of transportation, including biking, walking and enhancement of public health. Please do not hesitate to contact me at or for more information on this project.

11 On behalf of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), we appreciate this opportunity to extend our support for the City of Arcata s Bay Trail North Project. HCAOG represents a rural county with seven incorporated cities and eight federally recognized tribes. As the regional transportation planning agency for Humboldt County, HCAOG works closely with multiple public and private partners to coordinate transportation projects in the region. The Arcata Bay Trail North Project is an exceptional project that will fill a gap of a high priority regional trail that shares right-of-way with a historic rail line along the Humboldt Bay and is part of the California Coastal Trail System. The planning for this project was a collaborative effort and has support from the local, state and tribal governments in the region. It is adjacent to an important, fully funded, highway project that will solve a long standing safety problem. The primary purpose of the project is to improve safety for non-motorized and motorized travelers along a high-volume (AADT 36,300) portion of state highway connecting the two largest cities in the county. This section of highway has been designated as a Safety Corridor for the last decade. The project is needed because there is no non-motorized, Class I path between Eureka and Arcata and demand for a path is high. The project is identified as a regional priority in the Humboldt Regional Transportation Plan (2013), Regional Bicycle Plan (2012), Humboldt County Coastal Trail Implementation Strategy (2011), Regional Trails Master Plan (2010), Regional Pedestrian Plan (2008), and the Humboldt Bay Trail Feasibility Study (2007). The City of Arcata worked with many stakeholders on this project including the local rail operator and owner to develop a trail design and management plan that will allow the trail and railroad to co-exist. Please do not hesitate to contact me at or for more information on this project.

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